Don't Panic review by All Time Low

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  • Released: Oct 9, 2012
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (86 votes)
All Time Low: Don't Panic

Sound — 9
Coming off of their 4th full length and major-label debut, "Dirty Work", released in 2011, which was seen by most as incredibly underwhelming, All Time Low have brought back aspects of their old sound while continuing to expand and grow. This album was recorded independently after leaving their first major label Interscope, and then released through their old label Hopeless Records, which they signed back on to in early July, after the album was recorded. They managed to pull off keeping the sound that fans missed on most tracks of "Dirty Work" without becoming another stale pop-punk band recycling old formulas.

Lyrics — 8
Alex Gaskarth remains the lyricist for the album, as he has been on all of their studio efforts, and the lyrics on this album become some of his best yet. His voice is also in the best condition it's ever been and isn't as polished as it was on their last 2 studio efforts 2009's "Nothing Personal" and 2011's "Dirty Work". The album was recorded independently and it really becomes a plus as the edgy, less-processed vocals are executed perfectly on these songs.

Overall Impression — 10
This is All Time Low's most consistent album in the fact that there really are no "filler" tracks that you skip over when listening through such as "Hello, Brooklyn", and "Too Much" from "Nothing Personal" and "That Girl" and "No Idea" from "Dirty Work". However, there are some exceptional stand outs such as "Outlines" which features ex-Acceptance's Jason Vena and the only co-write on the album which Gaskarth wrote with Patrick Stump, formerly of Fall Out Boy. The song has very interesting leads with a refrain that has Vena singing solo and a punchy chorus with clever lyrics "I'm just a moment, so don't let me pass you by". Another stand-out on the album which will most likely be a live fan favorite is "The Irony Of Choking On A Lifesaver". The intriguing title had me interested before it was released and it's a great song with a poppy chorus and the repeated line "Why can't you just be happy for me?". A song that stands out from the rest of the album is "So Long Soldier" featuring Bayside's Anthony Raneri. The song tells of Gaskarth's move from England to America and details the bands first tour. This song features the heaviest riff on the album and a vocal pattern of the chorus reminiscent of the vocal pattern in "Circles" from the band's first release "The Party Scene". My personal favorite on the album is "Thanks To You" which starts off with a 90's-esque guitar riff leading into a punchy verse with a catchy chorus featuring lyrics such as "I'll spend my whole life-time with your lifeline wrapped around my throat", but the best part is the bridge of the song, which has a breakdown of sorts reminding me of early 00's New Found Glory, before going into the chorus one last time. Other highlights of the album include "Somewhere In Neverland", "Backseat Serenade" featuring ex-Hey Monday's Cassadee Pope, "To Live And Let Go", and "For Baltimore". All in all, this release has All Time Low continuing to do what they do best, churn out great, catchy, pop-punk tunes that please their fan base, while still keeping things fresh and entertaining for all. Who knows, "Don't Panic" may even make some fans out of non-believers, as it definitely is their best work to date.

17 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I'll admit I didn't listen to Dirty Work because of all the negative things I heard, but this album is fantastic IMO. So Long Soldier is so great, love the guitars and the guest vocals. I also really loved Somewhere In Neverland, The Irony of Choking On a Lifesaver, and For Baltimore.
    Better than Dirty Work, but still many forgettable songs imo. Unlike Dirty Work it feels like they put some effort into these songs at least
    Filler tracks like Hello Brooklyn??? Aside from Weightless, it's my favourite track off "Nothing Personal" :')
    Nothing Personal and Dirty Work were absolute pieces of shit with no redeeming factors on the latter. Having said that, the bits I've heard of this are at least promising. They're never going to be as good as they were on The Party Scene + Put Up or Shut Up.
    A great album with great melodies. My favorite song is "The Irony Of Choking On A Lifesaver".
    I dont see why Too Much and Hello Brooklyn get so much hate, theyve always been two of my favorites. The naming of cities was unnecessary but apart from that its a great song. Regardless, Dont Panic is a wonderful album.
    Yeah, they just get worse and worse every year.
    I just think theyre not a true pop-punk band. I listen to Alex's vocals, and it's all too whiny for me. I hate to say it, but they really do remind me of the Jonas Brothers in a way, just not as horrid. Still, thats a really bad statement. Yellowcard, Go Radio, and Every Avenue are the top pop-punk bands of today, with heartfelt lyrics, imo.
    So you like Yellowcard and Every Avenue, but think that Alex's vocals are whiny? You gotta be kidding me. If anything his voice is less whiny than ever on Don't Panic because he's singing with more anger and he knows his voice. Ryan Key is good vocalist, but it so whiny and his song writing is God awful. Alex writes lyrics that have a lot of hooks and lines that make you think. His songs are more story and content over most of the lyrics Ryan writes in Yellowcard. Don't get me wrong, I like yellowcard, but Alex is stronger vocalist and better writer. (Just my opinion)
    haha the ATL fanboys get at me by slamming me by that comment. downvotes, go ahead!
    I know that i'm replying to your comment late (due to finding it too late), but you can't even compare Alex's LIVE performance to Ryan's shitty live vocals. Just listen to "Too Much" live on Straight to DVD, or "Backseat Serenade" live acoustic at Reacher. You will see what a real live performance should look like. I honestly tried to find a decent live video of Yellowcard's Ocean Avenue, but i couldn't because each time Ryan sucked!
    i havn't heard this album yet nor have i listened to dirty work yet, mostly because i didn't really like nothing person. there where a few good tracks and it was a decent put together album but i felt it needed more work. anywho i'll go and listen to dirty work and don't panic soon, but too me it seem that ATL needs to take some time to sit and write instead of pumping out a album a year. but at the moment i'll have too agree with blake1221 with that they won't compare with put up or shut up and the party scene.
    I know that i'm replying to your comment late (due to finding it too late), but really you can't even compare Alex's LIVE performance and shitty Ryan's live vocals. Just try to listen to Too Much Live on Straight to DVD or "Backseat Serenade" live acoustic at Reacher. I honestly tried to find a decent live video of Yellowcard's "Ocean Avenue", but i couldn't, because each time Ryan sucked!
    lol every day
    i hate it when people fihgt just because of the music they like. I mean it's good that every single person on this planet has a different taste in music. Imagine a world where EVERYONE listens to the same kind of music or even the same band. Everyone is allowed to have their own opinion and taste in music so why would jugde or hate on you just because of a band you like. i know how it is to be jugded because of the music I like. And i didn't changed my taste in music just because of it.